Hospitals target nutrition, other social needs to boost health

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nirav shah

Kaiser Permanente’s Nirav Shah, MD, MPH, spoke with USA Today about the social determinants of health, and shared some of Kaiser Permanente’s efforts to improve the health of its members most in need.

Dr. Shah, a former New York state commissioner of health, is senior vice president and chief operating officer for clinical operations for Kaiser Permanente Southern California.

In Southern California, Dr. Shah is working with the non-profit Health Leads to “fundamentally redefine what counts as health care” by helping to coordinate social needs hospitals don’t typically focus upon.

To read the full story, click here.

Healthy Meeting’s Tip – Red Wine & Chocolate Bites

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According to The Heart Foundation, February has been designated at Heart Health Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both ment and women in the United States.  The good news?  It is also one of the most preventable.  Making heart-healthy choices, knowing your family health history and the risk factors for heart disease, having regular check-ups and working with your physician to manage your health are all integral aspect of saving lives for this silent killer. Reinforcing healthy behaviors is possible when organizing important business meetings and events.

At the Center for Total Health, we work with groups think about every aspect of their meetings and how to incorporate more positive choices in their planning.  For example, at dinner events, people often expect heavy desserts loaded with fats and sugars. A simple way to satisfy the taste buds is to add a red wine and dark chocolate dessert bar.  For our guests, a sommilier from our caterer can prepare matching red wines with varying degrees of dark cocoa bites.  One ounce tastings of various wines are offered and small bites of chocolate are paired.  Guests leave informed with not only the facts about new wines or chocolates but are reminded that — in moderation – red wine and chocolate is healthy for your heart.  For more information on suggested healthy food menus, check out our healthy meetings page on this website.  For a sample menu, check out this information card provided to guests: KP CTH Red Wine Chocolate Menu

 

What Women Need to Know About Heart Disease

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woman outdoors

A stomach ache, jaw pain, fatigue.

Each symptom on its own may not prompt a woman to call her doctor. But combined, they could signal that a woman is having a heart attack.

There’s a myth that heart disease is a “man’s disease,” but the statistics tell a different story. The American Heart Association reports 44 million women in the United States are affected by heart disease, and heart disease and stroke kill approximately one woman every 80 seconds.

Peter Miles, MD, regional chair of the chiefs of cardiology for Kaiser Permanente Northern California, answers questions about what women need to know about heart disease and the steps everyone can take to maintain a healthy heart.

Peter Miles, MD

Peter Miles, MD

How serious is heart disease for women?

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among American women. In fact, heart disease kills more women than men, but 4 out of 5 women don’t know that.

How do heart attack symptoms differ between men and women?

Chest pain is the most common heart attack symptom, but it is not the only one. Women often experience different symptoms than men, and it’s not always the dramatic, crushing chest pain you may see on TV.

Women may feel a burning or numbness that can radiate to the back or shoulders. Because women’s symptoms can differ from men’s, it can be easy for women to think their symptoms aren’t serious. The more symptoms a woman experiences, the more likely it is that she is having a heart attack.

If pain or discomfort lasts more than 5 minutes, isn’t relieved by lying down, and travels through the back, shoulder, neck, or jaw, it’s important to get medical treatment right away. Getting treatment quickly can lower the amount of heart muscle that’s damaged.

Women who are busy with family and work responsibilities may ignore the first signs of a heart attack. They may be preoccupied with taking care of others and may ignore their own health needs. But it’s important to change that trend. We can do that with education and information.

How can women and men reduce their risk of heart attack and heart disease?

To take care of your heart, you need to take care of the whole you. Eat heart-healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins (such as fish, beans, chicken, nuts, and low-fat dairy), and whole grains to help keep your heart and blood vessels in good shape.

If you drink alcohol, drink it in moderation. Women should limit alcohol to no more than one drink a day.

We recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week or at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days. If you can’t do all 30 minutes at once, do 10 minutes at a time. Brisk walking, swimming, or cycling are all good for the heart.

Lowering your weight by just 10 percent can also make a significant difference in reducing your risk for heart disease, and so can lowering your stress. Anger, anxiety, and depression may keep your blood pressure high and increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, and other illnesses. Try meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises to help control the stress in your life.

Finally, if you smoke, it’s time to quit. Talk to your doctor about resources such as medication and classes to help you kick the habit.

Visit www.kp.org/heart for more about the signs and symptoms of heart attacks and heart disease. To learn more about KP’s efforts to eliminate disparities in care, visit the Center for Total Health by scheduling a tour and submit a tour request form.

Consumer Driven Models can Transform Care

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Healthcare IT News interviewed Kaiser Permanente CIO Dick Daniels and he shared his perspective on Kaiser Permanente’s holistic model and the value of the consumer in the care equation.

“Consumer expectations and needs are a primary consideration for everything we do,” Daniels said. “We believe that individuals need to have access to information and services in ways that are welcoming and convenient to them in order to manage their health effectively. We consider all aspects, including how patients experience the selection of the health plan that best meets their needs, the care they receive when they come to one of our facilities, and the access they have to care from wherever they may be.”

Daniels will present “Transforming Care Through a Consumer-Driven Model” at HIMSS 17, running from February 19-23, 2017.

To read the full story, click here.

Defining Success In Resolving Health-Related Social Needs

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A recent Health Affairs blog offers a perspective on the challenges of addressing the social needs of patients – particularly when the health care system at large doesn’t have common language to describe what a successful intervention might look like. Programs such as Kaiser Permanente’s Total Health initiative and CMS’ Accountable Health Community model screen participants for unmet social needs, yet there is lack of clear definition as to how the community – or delivery system – should be accountable for resolving these needs. This will continue to be a complex area for exploration as health care increasingly moves outside of the exam room into the community, and as we continue to look at how factors such as where our patients live, work, play and pray impact their overall health.

Read the blog here

Why You Should Reflect on Your Health This September

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When was the last time you reflected on your total health journey? From your childhood experiences to your future in old age, what phase of life are you in and how do you envision your health moving forward?

At the Center for Total Health, we believe that having a dialogue about your health is critical, which is why we’re encouraged by the following health-related observances in September and the wisdom they provide us. Along with each observance, we’ve provided questions for reflection and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Fruits and Veggies—More Matters and Childhood Obesity

Whether it’s through physical movement or eating more fruits and vegetables, teaching children and adults the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle has the power to end childhood obesity and create a positive ripple effect from the local to the national level.

We observe Fruits and Veggies – More Matters Month and Childhood Obesity Month in September to spread awareness about how people can live healthier lives. In alignment with this mission, CTH showcases work being done across the country to make this goal a reality. Through our immersive exhibits we display change in action —like the implementation of the “Let’s Move! Active Schools” campaign in Miami, featured on our Health Discovery Wall. Our interactive map highlights the locations in Miami that have increased physical activity in schools, showcasing how individual or local change can make a difference.

Health Reflection: What foods and exercise currently support your total health – physically, mentally and emotionally?

Healthy Aging and World Alzheimer’s

Life can be challenging for Leo and Rosemary – two elderly personas featured at CTH. Leo shows signs of cognitive impairment and Rosemary, his wife and caregiver, has to ensure that he takes his medication and goes to his appointments, while also having to care for her own emotional health. With Rosemary’s help, Leo is aging in place, able to live in the comfort of his own home and community.

The month of September provides us the opportunity to address both the challenges as well as the positive aspects of growing older by observing both World Alzheimer’s Month and Healthy Aging Month. These observances touch on a delicate, yet immensely important phase of life – how we age and the responsibilities that come with growing older. We’re reminded to be more intentional with our actions and how they can affect our health later in life.

Health Reflection: In our busy, every day lives how often do we pause to think about how we’d like to age? What are we doing (or not doing) now that could help us age in a stronger, healthier way?

Regardless of age, we can all benefit from discussing what these observances mean for us, our family members and our community.

What’s one way to start prioritizing your health and the health of your friends, family or colleagues? By visiting and hosting a meeting or event at the Center for Total Health. You can find more information here.

This Week in Total Health

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This week, the Center hosted a three day private board meeting, so we’re a little light on photos. Behind the scenes, though, it was an exciting an active week.

We did have an amazing visit from Leadership America – Leadership Women (@LeadershipAmer), a great organization connecting women in leadership roles across states, ages, and industries. Talk about innovation!

Leadership America

Leadership America Visits CTH

Community Catalyst (@HealthPolicyHub) also visited to learn about the center as they consider an consumer-facing center of their own. Such an exciting time and so glad to be helpful to others beginning this journey.

Community Catalyst

Community Catalyst

To see or download photos from this week, visit our Flickr page.

A year of tracking on a complete street: The Metropolitan Branch Trail

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Infographic - tracking a complete street - a year of active transportation - center for total health

Infographic – tracking a complete street – a year of active transportation – center for total health (View on Flickr.com)

The Center for Total Health just marked its one year anniversary of population sensing on the street outside our building, 2nd Street, NE, which also happens to be the Metropolitan Branch Trail.

We learned through sensing the trail that it’s very much alive – up to 1,200 people walk it every day!

In 2015, the section of the trail we innovate on also added a Capital Bikeshare station, and became a complete street, when both sides of 2nd Street were completed.

With the help of Washington, D.C.’s Open Data Diplomat, Michael Schade, we created an infographic showing how we can quantify our streets and communities in the 21st Century.

If you’d like to learn more about our program to quantify the trail:  What Exactly IS the Trail Modeling & Assessment Platform, and Why Do We Care?

Feel free to share, and let us know if you have any questions. Active transportation is the future, and it’s the present for us 🙂 .

This Week in Total Health: Tours Rule

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This week, we were delighted by a surprise visit from James Hamrick, MD (@HJamesHamrick), an oncologist from Kaiser Permanente’s Georgia Region. In town for a congenital heart defect summit, he took a few minutes to come see the renovations from last summer.

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James Hamrick, MD, and Ted Eytan, MD

We were also glad to welcome Elizabeth Fowler, of Johnson & Johnson, and Marci Nelson, of Patient Centered Primary Care Coalition, in town for a conference. It was inspirational to hear about the work underway!

Elizabeth Fowler (Johnson & Johnson) and Marci Nielsen (Patient Centered Primary Care Colaborative) with Ann Kempski (Kaiser Permanente) at the Center for Total Health

Elizabeth Fowler (Johnson & Johnson) and Marci Nielsen (Patient Centered Primary Care Colaborative) with Ann Kempski and Ted Eytan, MD (Kaiser Permanente)

 

See all the photos from this week at the Center for Total Health here.

 

Transit, Health, and Gardens, with Greenbuild, American Institute of Architects, and District Department of Transportation

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2015 Greenbuild Tour Bike DC- Transit, Health, and Gardens Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health 00238

2015 Greenbuild Tour Bike DC- Transit, Health, and Gardens Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health 00238 (View on Flickr.com)

Following on a similar bike tour in September (see: Buildings, Bikes, and Gardens with DesignDC ), the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health (@KPTotalHealth) hosted this one, as part of the very large Greenbuild International Conference and Expo that was in Washington, DC this year.

In addition to demonstrating the ways that health care contributes to a healthier built environment (who, us?) the following speakers dialogued with the group on work to promote bicycling:

  • Jim Sebastian of @DDOTDC
  • Steve White, director of Fentress Architects and president of AIA DC (@steve_aiadc)
  • Paul Balmer, legislative assistant to Congressman Earl Blumenauer from Oregon on the Congressional Bike Caucus (@PBalms)
  • Caron Whitaker from the Bike League (@CaronWhitaker)

A lot of where this comes together at Kaiser Permanente can be found at our Westside Medical Center, in Hillsborough, Oregon, which is one of the few (less than 60) LEED Gold certified medical centers in the world. You can read more about it here.

Thanks for letting us take part in Greenbuild!